I remember the feeling when I finally finished school and the one thing I felt most free from was homework. There were some teachers who piled on hours of homework, and others who gave just a little. Generally, I found that the less homework a kid has, the better he or she will learn. It's just like now as an adult with work. No one wants to take work home with them, but it happens ... a lot in most cases. On those days you leave work only to have to work through the night at home, you feel drained. Like your mind has no time to recoup. As if all you ever think about is work.
It's the same for kids with homework. France is keen to this and may ban homework. I think this is a great idea.
Parents don't need to be working on their kids' homework after a long day of their own work. Which they probably have to still work on. Once a parent is involved, the kid checks out. Not benefiting or learning anything. Homework, as we know it, should be banned. It needs a major overhaul. I do think there should be some reading required at home, studying, and a few long-term projects, but that everyday grind work that kids already do in school should happen in school.
Homework shouldn't take up a lot of time, especially when kids have many classes. Which is why I think a slightly longer day -- with a class set aside just for 'homework' -- makes sense. A study hall where kids actually have to study. It may have to be more controlled in that the teacher in charge of the 'homework hall' should know what each student needs to be working on, but sometimes a structure like that is good for kids. Maybe each class is extended slightly to accommodate the 'homework' portion of the teaching. This way the students are in the class with the teacher assigning the work, they can ask questions if they arise, and the work is done, completed correctly, making the learning a more positive experience -- a more lasting experience.
French President Francois Hollande is working on education reform and his reasoning behind banning homework is to "equalize the playing field" for the kids who don't have a lot of family help at home. Today.com's series on school issues found that kids who do more homework perform worse in school.
If we stop and think of it in an adult world -- how we take work home with us, often working all through the night -- sometimes that just causes burnout. Or people to hate their jobs. Once a child loses interest in school, how can we expect them to get good grades? And just like that adult who won't stop complaining about all the work he or she has to do at home, far too many kids have that with homework today. The assignments are loaded on and kids have hours worth of work to do at home leaving little time for socialization, hobbies, sports, a part-time job, family time, or even alone time. All of which are important for growth.
Ban homework as it is now. Our kids' education needs reform and this could be one step in a better direction.
What do you think of a homework ban or reform? Should school time last longer to accommodate this extra work?
Image via slightlyeverything/Flickr